By P.Hopkins (1 page)
So, after many many years XP an Vista has been retired by MicroSoft. What does that mean to those still using them? Lets look at some of the worries and options open to you..
If you want to keep using Either I Advise you to download all the service packs and burn them to dvd's for safe keeping. After Service packs are installed you can still download the remaining updates up to the time of discontinuation.
Here they are ...
You will need these packs to reinstall the bulk of windows updates, should you need to reinstall the system in the future. There is no Service pack for updates for past year or so, and its advised you also make a backup image of your system installation. Even if you use a system restore to factory settings option, service packs may still be needed, and there's no fixed date on when XP and Vista update and activation services will be completely stopped.
There are different versions of licenses so you can't borrow a mates disc and reinstall the system if you have an oem key and your mates is a retail version. Read this article for more info on the different versions and some work-around's.
If you don't have a system installation disc, you may have problems finding an oem iso image download on the net. The more techy amongst you can build a multi version install dvd following this article.
There is the issue of activating windows after a new installation and p2p torrent sites may still have the hacks and tools to do this, but be very careful when choosing this dark path as you are more open to virus infections via torrent downloads.
The best way to keep XP available is to make an image backup of your xp installation, but before you attempt this, empty out your 'My Documents ' folder by moving it all to a usb drive. This will make the backup image smaller and more manageable. Paragon Disk tools has a free version that's capable of making a system image.
The other option is to upgrade to Windows 7 Via a Small hardware upgrade. With this option engineers like myself can install a legal version of Win7 With a disk to keep for £68-75 which excludes the cost of any hardware upgrades, but is an option to slip in Win 7 at a bargain price along with an upgrade or system repair service. This is because Microsoft only allow o.e.m version installs with new hardware or system builds.
You could have any piece of small hardware replaced or upgraded allowing an oem version of windows to be sold and installed on your desktop or laptop.
What about still using XP or Vista
It won't stop working and you will still be able to run all your software and access many other software titles on the internet that will work. but,, as time progresses New software and Apps will start having issues with Windows XP or Vista in the future years.
Web browsing and email are two main paths for virus infections so steer away from microsoft software with email client and web browser. Use fireFox for web browsing and Mozilla Thunderbird for all email. You can still use web based email like the Outlook web site just don't use Internet explorer on the internet.
In time 3rd party system vitals such as Adobe flash plug ins and Apple software system plug ins, May stop for XP and Vista, or future versions may install and become buggy.
There are no flash browser plug-in alternatives, so at some point you will hit problems with youtube and other video sites in future years. HTML5 is easing this issue over time but there will still be a heavy dependence on flash for a while yet.
Check with firefox and google chrome web browser support pages to see if any future issues with XP or Vista may be imminent. If yes, just download and keep a version of your current web browser and disable any Auto update options in the settings.
If after all the above you are keen to stay with your old system for a while you must clamp down on your security and protection. You will definitely have to be more vigilant and NetWise when on the internet and using unknown software.
Avast is a very good Anti-virus to use, because it has a sandbox function that kicks in each time a new program is run. This sandbox allows the program to run in a virtual contained system area and monitors for malicious activity. If its happy the program execution is started again and handed over to you for real installation or execution of software.
It may be time to use a paid version of your Anti virus, if not already, as protection is higher with more frequent and comprehensive Anti virus updates and services.
If you don't have the money or means to upgrade windows, there is still an option for you. If you only surf the internet and check emails and do some work in Microsoft Office, you can download and install Linux Mint which will completely replace windows or install along side it so you have both.
Linux is a completely free operating system that doesn't easily get virus infections due to how it works. It has auto updates like windows, it has a menu system like windows, it has over 40'000 free software applications viewable and installable through the systems environment. You can check out Linux here --
A YouTube Introduction video is here
Linux Mint is very easy to use and has OpenOffice and Libre Office software suits that will read and work with Microsoft office files. There are versions of FireFox and Chrome for linux mint, there's also media players that work with apple products. Mozilla Thunderbird, best email client out there is available for linux mint. The whole system is not that much of a big step away from the-windows-way and has become very user friendly. There are 32 and 64 bit versions, and a great deal of support out there.
I hope this article has given you a better picture on future choices.
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